Sunday, November 1, 2009

In which karma and a random number generator conspire against me

Last year, over in the old digs, I wrote a post about service, even made the claim that we all serve our country.

This year, my old friend karma took a look at my balance sheet and decided that maybe I hadn't served enough. So, with the aid of a random number generator (which has never been my friend, I have never won anything ever), I was called for jury duty and subsequently empanelled.

And not just any jury duty. JURY DUTY. On a major case in Seattle, one that you can read all about in the news.

It seems that karma wants me to serve my country until mid-December. Which means, Monday-Thursday, I am up before the sun, on the bus at O'Dark-thirty, and on my way to downtown Seattle before my children stir from their beds.

By the grace of a good employer, I am, thankfully, still paid for my non-working time, as I think we'd all agree that it is impossible to pay your bills on the $10 daily stipend from the court. However, it's hardly as though the rest of my work is on hold, so I find myself working at lunch, working at bedtime, and attempting to cram 5 days of work into Friday.

Whenever someone learns that I'm on jury duty, they are full of sympathy and stories of what they would have done to get out of it. "Just start yelling that you're racist." "Answer every question with, 'Hang 'em!'" "Tell them your family needs you too much." (No one suggested the "work will be lost without me" answer, which is good, given that with 44,999 other employees in the Puget Sound area, it doesn't really have the ring of truth.)

But here's the thing. Things, I guess. Well, first, I can't lie. I just can't, you can see it all over my face. (Anyone want to play poker?) But more importantly, I hate the discussion of a jury being 12 people too stupid to get out of jury duty. Because, there but for the grace of God, you know? If it were me, for whatever reason, facing the judgement of 12 strangers, I'd hope that at least a few of them understood and valued the role that they played. Understood the sacrifice required on their behalf to ensure that justice endures. It is the jury's duty to ensure that the weight of justice is balanced, that the state prove beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defense prove beyond a preponderence of evidence.

And so I serve.

Of course, that doesn't mean I don't think karma is a bitch.


In other news, my beloved is a'blogging. Check him out at ThoughtDreams.

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